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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Feb;180(2 Pt 1):270-5.

Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy versus total abdominal hysterectomy: a prospective, randomized, multicenter study.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gemelli Hospital, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbus Hospital, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome.



The objective of this study was to evaluate short-term results of laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy with those of total abdominal hysterectomy in a prospective, randomized, multicenter study.


One hundred sixteen patients referred for abdominal hysterectomy were randomized to either laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (58 patients) or abdominal hysterectomy (58 patients). Inclusion criteria were one or more of the following, where a vaginal hysterectomy would be traditionally contraindicated: uterine size larger than 280 g, previous pelvic surgery, history of pelvic inflammatory disease, moderate or severe endometriosis, concomitant adnexal masses or indication for adnexectomy, and nulliparity with lack of uterine descent and limited vaginal access. An upper limit of uterine size was set at 16 weeks' gestation (ie, 700 g).


There were no differences in terms of patient's age, parity, preoperative hemoglobin levels, mean uterine weight, and total operating time between the 2 groups. Estimated blood losses and postoperative day 1 hemoglobin drop were significantly lower for laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy than for abdominal hysterectomy (P<.05). There were 1 major and 2 minor complications in the laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy group compared with 2 major and 5 minor complications in the abdominal hysterectomy group (P not significant). Postoperative pain was lower for laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy than for abdominal hysterectomy on postoperative days 1, 2, and 3 (P<.05). Postoperative hospital stay was significantly shorter for laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy than for abdominal hysterectomy (P<.001).


The present study demonstrates that, given adequate training in laparoscopic surgery, laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy may replace abdominal hysterectomy in most patients who require a hysterectomy and have contraindications to vaginal hysterectomy, with all the benefits associated with the vaginal route.

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